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Head of West Roxbury Main Streets to step down next month

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  March 11, 2013 12:12 PM

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The head of the West Roxbury Main Streets nonprofit will step down next month.

Kara O’Connor, a South Boston resident, became executive director of the organization three years ago.

She will leave, effective April 2, to take a job as neighborhood business manager in the business development office of the city’s neighborhood development department.

“We want to thank Kara for her three years of service on behalf of the organization,” said a statement from Matthew Gruber, president of the nonprofit’s board of directors, which has begun to search for a new director and will post information about the search to its website, www.wrms.org.

“Since 2011, 16 new businesses have opened in the West Roxbury business district along Centre and Spring streets,” he added. “During this time, WRMS has remained a thriving district, with more than 200 businesses and only five vacancies district-wide.”

During O’Connor’s tenure, the nonprofit held the first Annual Taste of West Roxbury last May, which featured more than two dozen participating restaurants, drew more than 450 people, and raised $19,000 to support the organization. The event’s second-annual run has been set for May 9.

The citywide Boston Main Streets program uses public funding and staff to support 20 independently-governed Main Streets organizations, including the one in West Roxbury, that work with local business districts to improve storefronts and public spaces.

City officials welcomed O’Connor to her new role.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Kara coming on board to the Department of Neighborhood Development,” said a statement from Sheila Dillon, director of the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development. “In her new position, Kara will continue the great work she has already done with Boston Main Streets, and we look forward to her leadership on many other initiatives and programs designed to serve and support Boston's small business community.”

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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